Welcome back to A Message for the Messenger! I want to talk a little bit about a passage that jumped out at me; Ecclesiastes 1:3-11. Now, don’t form an immediate dislike for this passage, just because it’s in Ecclesiastes, and you may think it’s another time where he’s ranting about everything being meaningless, but it’s not (directly). Look at it: “What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun? Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises. The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course. All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear of hearing. What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time. No one remembers the former generations, and even those yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow them.”
This passage I have never heard discussed. Yet it gives a fairly simple idea. What do people gain from their work? What benefits or blessings do they gain/receive? As some of y’all know, we’ve been working to get our house ready for the market. Every morning, I’d wake up at seven, do some chores and the dishes, and then start working. I’d take two or three 30-minute breaks during the day, four or five lunch breaks, and stop work 6 or 7 o’clock. We did this routine for three months with no end in sight. I felt almost like verses 3-8 were written for my daily life/routine. Then, about a week after those three months of monotony, it seemed to me like God FINALLY revealed His face, and everything jumped into place. Before I knew it, there was a sign in the yard with “FOR SALE” on it. Four days later, the “FOR SALE” sign had a “SALE PENDING” added to it.
My point is, even though I could see no end to the strenuous work, and we were all at our breaking point, God came through the darkness, illuminating our path and restoring hope. Now, how does this apply to the first verse? The man that works hard may not be doing anything new, as I saw, but he does earn his living, and he has a right to feel good about it.
The Addressing of Verses 9-11
In the early 1900’s, the first automobile was invented. Wow! No more wagons! No more horses! What an upgrade!
Cars have heated seats, A/C, reclining seats, seat belts, seat belt comfort clips (!?), push button-starters, and a back up camera! Are all these necessary? No. Are they beneficial? Some. Are they comfortable? Yes. Are they new? Yes. Was the Model T new? Yes. Now it’s a legend; a thing to be remembered. Nothing’s new. We may redo things, but does that make it new? No.
“11 No one remembers the former generations; and even those yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow them.”